FIJI
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Country:
Fiji
Region:
All
Official languages:
English - Fiji Hindi - Fijian
Time zone:
FJT(UTC+12)/FJST(UTC+13)
Dialing code:
+679
Currency:
Fijian dollar ($) (FJD)
Fiji, officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,100 nautical miles (2,000 km; 1,300 mi) northeast of New Zealand's North Island. Its closest neighbours are Vanuatu to the west, New Caledonia to the southwest, New Zealand's Kermadec Islands to the southeast, Tonga to the east, the Samoas and France's Wallis and Futuna to the northeast, and Tuvalu to the north.
The country comprises an archipelago of more than 332 islands, of which 110 are permanently inhabited, and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of about 18,300 square kilometres (7,100 sq mi). The farthest island is Onu-i-Lau. The two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, account for 87% of the population of almost 860,000. The capital and largest city, Suva, is on Viti Levu. About three-quarters of Fijians live on Viti Levu's coasts, either in Suva or in smaller urban centres like Nadi (tourism) or Lautoka (sugar cane industry). Viti Levu's interior is sparsely inhabited due to its terrain.
Fiji has one of the most developed economies in the Pacific due to an abundance of forest, mineral, and fish resources. Today, the main sources of foreign exchange are its tourist industry and sugar exports. The country's currency is the Fijian dollar. Fiji's local government, in the form of city and town councils, is supervised by the Ministry of Local Government and Urban Development.
The majority of Fiji's islands were formed through volcanic activity starting around 150 million years ago. Today, some geothermal activity still occurs on the islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Fiji has been inhabited since the second millennium BC, and was settled first by Austronesians and later by Melanesians, with some Polynesian influences. Europeans visited Fiji from the 17th century, and, after a brief period as an independent kingdom, the British established the Colony of Fiji in 1874. Fiji was a Crown colony until 1970, when it gained independence as a Commonwealth realm. A republic was declared in 1987, following a series of coups d'état.
Fiji has a significant amount of tourism with the popular regions being Nadi, the Coral Coast, Denarau Island, and Mamanuca Islands. The biggest sources of international visitors by country are Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Fiji has a significant number of soft coral reefs, and scuba diving is a common tourist activity. Fiji's attraction is primarily its white sandy beaches and postcard perfect islands with all-year-round tropical weather. In general Fiji is a mid-range priced holiday/vacation destination with most of the accommodations in this range. It also has a variety of world class 5-star resorts and hotels. More budget resorts are being opened in remote areas, which will provide more tourism opportunities.
Official statistics show that in 2012, 75% of visitors stated that they came for a holiday/vacation. A Fiji honeymoon is very popular as are romantic getaways in general. There are also family friendly resorts having facilities for young children including kids' clubs and nanny options. Fiji has several popular tourism destinations. The Botanical Gardens of Thursten in Suva, Sigatoka Sand Dunes, and Colo-I-Suva Forest Park are three options on the mainland (Viti Levu). A big attraction on the outer islands is scuba diving.
Part of the description above is taken from the Wikipedia article Fiji with patent CC-BY-SA. The full list of those who have contributed to the drafting of the article is available here.